Reading time: approximately 2 minutes.
The phrase “makes my gorge rise” may be an English idiom (sorry, I don’t have time to research it, any wordhounds reading this feel free to enlighten us in the comments), so for you non-native English speakers out there, I’ll explain what it means. When someone says “_______________ makes my gorge rise”, they mean that ______________ makes them feel like they’re about to puke/vomit/throw up.
Some folks, and I confess to being one of them, have such a profound capacity for anger that they can become so enraged as to feel like they’re about to throw up. So “makes my gorge rise” can also be used as a euphemism for “I’m sick with anger about ____________”.
Before I proceed, I should say that I learned many years ago to leash my anger and am no longer given to violent outbursts of rage. In my line of work, I am daily exposed to some of the worst elements of humanity. If I hadn’t learned to subdue my anger, I would’ve been dead of a heart attack or stroke by now. Anger is useless in my profession.
Still, there are some things that get my goat. That really get my dander up. For the past few weeks, what’s been making my gorge rise is the endless daily reports of privileged, powerful men accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I don’t think that particular wave has even crested, either; the reports will keep coming. And they need to, no matter how sick it makes me to hear it, because the public needs to know how bad it is.
For 6 years, I carried a sex offender caseload, and I learned more than I wanted to about the realities of sexual assault in America. It occurs much more often and to many more victims than the general public would believe if every incident were reported. It’s such a widespread problem that I can’t believe we aren’t currently hearing more accusations than we are every day.
As a man, a husband, and a father, I am embarrassed by the constant news stories of men behaving as nothing more than walking, talking, engorged, uncontrollable pricks. I beg you, please, PLEASE, stop. Just stop it. You’re making us all look bad. Next time you’re thinking of making an uninvited pass at a woman, ask yourself: “Would I want some lecherous fuck behaving this way toward my daughter, granddaughter, wife, or sister?” And if the answer is “NO!”, then don’t do it.
And teach your sons not to do it. Teach your sons that a girl or woman is a person with her own wants and needs, not just an object for his lust. Teach your sons the meaning of consent and how to obtain it. If you need a handy guide for how to talk about the subject, read Amy Schumer’s The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo or better yet, listen to her read it in the audiobook version. Not only will it edify you on the subtleties of consent and the harm done by sexual assault, it will fill you with guilt but gently while making you laugh out loud.
But by all means and for god’s sake, please, stop.